WWE RAW HITS & MISSES (4/22): Obnoxious New Day, Gable heel turn follow-up, Awesome Truth vs. DIY, Priest-Jey exchange, Women’s Battle Royal

By Jon Mezzera, PWTorch contributor


Priest – Uso – HIT: Raw got off to a good, but not great start with the opening segment featuring Jey Uso and Damian Priest. It was a marginal Hit, because it was just good enough. Jey Uso was fun and got a great reaction when he first came out, but he had to do a little fishing for the Yeet chants in his pauses. Once he got them going, they were strong (this wasn’t the hottest crowd in general). Damian Priest was solid in his interruption. They had some good lines against each other. I like the overall respect they showed for each other, while taking those shots too. Priest came across well, but not strong enough for the World Champion. This definitely feels like a come down in terms of a World Championship PLE match, but it was still a good segment to build some anticipation for it.

Awesome Truth vs. DIY – MISS: This match never clicked. It felt like two young very talented workers trying to carry two old decent workers to a good match. Everything that DIY did looked good. Everything Awesome Truth did looked ok at best. I don’t are about Awesome Truth and am not a fan of them being the Champions. Nobody seems to care about DIY. I got a kick out of R-Truth when he initially mistook DIY for DX. I don’t like how DIY has tried to capitalize on it with their trunks and doing some of DX’s moves like Tommaso Ciampa doing the Pedigree. I appreciated the edge that Ciampa showed afterwards, refusing to shake their hands unlike Johnny Gargano. Where will that lead?

New Day – MISS: This was the worst, most obnoxious that The New Day has ever come across, which is saying something. I wanted them to shut up. A great thing about their feud with Imperium is that it brought out a serious side. They were entertaining, but not in the typical silly New Day way. So it was disappointing to see them back to their annoying selves. I don’t get why people respond positively to them. I hated how they made fun of Gunther for not having a title. When was the last time they had a title? I liked Gunther’s promo which proceeded New Day’s appearance. WWE is trying very hard to paint the King of the Ring victory as important and having Gunther be the first to enter the tournament was smart. But, New Day ruined the segment. Their match against Imperium was fine. Even though I liked their feud, they’ve wrestled enough and I didn’t need to see them wrestle again. I am intrigued by Ludwig Kaiser’s destruction of Giovani Vinci afterwards. A draft split would be good to get him on his own, out of Gunther’s shadow. That post-match attack deserves a Hit, but New Day put me in a bad a mood.

McIntyre – Sheamus – HIT: Drew McIntyre continues to play his role to perfection. He did a great job at the start of this segment before Sheamus came out to tell him to get over it. Considering their long history, it makes perfect sense for them to interact in this way now that Sheamus is back. Their interaction was well done. It wasn’t totally clear where McIntyre stood with Sheamus by the end, which I appreciated. It was a good tease for the following match in wanting to know what McIntyre would do during Sheamus’ match against Shinsuke Nakamura.

Sheamus vs. Nakamura – HIT: Speaking of that match, it was a good one. I particularly liked how McIntyre didn’t get involved in the match other than slowly taking one step towards the ring at one point which served as a slight distraction for Nakamura. He didn’t play into the end of the match which was good. Nakamura and Sheamus worked well together and had a good match in a vacuum. Considering the story that they are starting to tell with McIntyre, and the fact that he really didn’t factor into the match itself, only made it better.

Sami – Reed – HIT: I would like to see a feud between Sami Zayn and Bronson Reed over the Intercontinental Championship. It moves Sami onto something new, but he still clearly has unfinished business with Chad Gable. Also, Reed needs a few strong wins in the ring before getting an IC Title shot. So, I wouldn’t want to see them face quite yet, but this served as a good tease for that matchup. And the verbal encounter followed by the physicality was all well done.

Gable – HIT: This was a good heel promo from Gable to follow up on this turn last week after losing to Zayn in the IC Title main event of Raw. He was good at explaining what pushed him over the edge when he tried to be a good person after the loss. The way he berated the Alpha Academy members who were in the ring with him was strong. The fans clearly wanted Otis to turn on him, and were disappointed when he didn’t. If done correctly, Otis will get a huge pop when he finally stops taking Gable’s abuse.

Ricochet & Andrade vs. McDonagh & Escobar – HIT: If I had to pick between Dominic Mysterio and Santos Escobar, I would definitely pick Escobar to be my partner. Unfortunately, it still didn’t work out for JD McDonagh in their tag match against Ricochet & Andrade. This was a good tag match which isn’t surprising given the talent of these four. The crowd never came alive for it which is unfortunate. WWE hasn’t done a good enough job getting Andrade over. But, a feud against Judgment Day might help. The post-match attack from Damian Priest was fine to put him clearly in the leadership role in the group, but also keeping him a clear heel even with more of a babyface presentation last week.

Women’s Battle Royal – HIT: I wasn’t a fan of deciding the new Women’s World Champion in a battle royal. The fact that WWE hasn’t crowned a new Champion in a battle royal in 17 years made it better. Hopefully, they wait another 17 to do it again. It was a good battle royal. There were some fun moments sprinkled throughout like Maxxine Dupri eliminating both Candace LeRae and Indi Hartwell, Kaden Carter & Katana Chance getting to do some of their signature double team moves, and Piper Niven and Nia Jax squaring off against each other. I’m glad that Nia Jax didn’t eliminate anyone after she was eliminated. I hate it when that happens. The fight outside with her ultimately putting Becky Lynch through the announce table worked well to stack the deck against Becky and build Jax as a possible challenger. I also loved how Chelsea Green got back in the ring after being eliminated since the referees were dealing with Lynch so they didn’t see her hit the floor. That was another fun moment and seemed to get the fans behind Green considering they booed when she got eliminated later. The final few moments of the match when it came down to the final three was very strong, with Lynch ultimately eliminating Liv Morgan for the win. Obviously, Morgan will be a potential challenger too.

Jon Mezzera is PWTorch.com’s WWE Raw Hits & Misses Specialist, providing his point of view for Raw each week. Email him at jmezz_torch@yahoo.com.

RECOMMENDED NEXT: OVER & UNDERS – WWE RAW (4/22): Damian Priest almost a main eventer, Johnny’s late arrival, Kaiser’s eyebrow, Old Day, Drew cooling off, the Weight of History, more

OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s WWE Raw Hit List: Battle royal for the vacant Women’s World Championship, R-Truth and The Miz vs. DIY for the World Tag Team Titles, New Day vs. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci

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